United States General Accounting Office GAO Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Military Procurement, Committee on National Security, House of Representative For Release on Delivery Expected at 10:00 a.m., EDT CHEMICAL WEAPONS Tuesday, March 11, 1997 AND MATERIEL Key Factors Affecting Disposal Costs and Schedule Statement of Henry L. Hinton, Jr., Assistant Comptroller General, National Security and International Affairs Division GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I am pleased to be here today to discuss our work concerning the Department of Defense’s (DOD) management of the programs for destroying the U.S. stockpile of chemical munitions and planning for the disposal of nonstockpile chemical warfare materiel. Since 1988, the Congress has appropriated $4.2 billion for the disposal programs, and DOD estimates that $23.4 billion more will be needed to complete them.1 The Army is working to complete the stockpile program by the congressionally mandated date of December 31, 2004, and estimates that the nonstockpile program will take nearly 40 years to complete. Appendix I provides appropriation and expenditure data for the programs for fiscal years 1988 through 1997. Appendix II provides estimated funding data for the programs for fiscal years 1998 through 2005. Since 1990, we have issued a number of reports addressing opportunities to improve various aspects of these disposal programs. In February 1997, we issued a report that discussed the key factors affecting the costs and schedules for the chemical weapons and related materiel disposal programs.2 As requested, my statement today provides an overview of our February report and includes a discussion of the chemical stockpile and nonstockpile program, actions the Army has taken to improve the programs, and alternatives to the current approach. While there is general agreement about the need to destroy the chemical Results in Brief stockpile and related materiel, progress has slowed due to the lack of consensus among DOD and affected states and localities about the destruction method that should be used. As a result, the costs and schedules for the disposal programs are uncertain. However, they will cost more than the estimated $23.4 billion above current appropriations and take longer than currently planned. The key factors affecting the programs include the public concerns about the safety of incineration, the environmental process, the legislative requirements, and the introduction of alternative disposal technologies. 1 The programs’ combined life-cycle cost estimate is $27.6 billion. This amount includes $12.4 billion for the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program and $15.2 billion for the Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel Program. 2 Chemical Weapons and Materiel: Key Factors Affecting Disposal Costs and Schedule (GAO/NSIAD-97-18, Feb. 10, 1997). Page 1 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 The Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program’s cost and schedule are largely driven by the degree to which states and local communities are in agreement with the proposed disposal method at the remaining stockpile sites. Based on program experience, reaching agreement has consistently taken longer than the Army anticipated. For example, the Army has consistently underestimated the time required to obtain environmental permits for the disposal facilities. Until DOD and the affected states and localities reach agreement on a disposal method for the remaining stockpile sites, the Army will not be able to predict the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program’s cost and schedule with any degree of accuracy. Moreover, many of the problems experienced in the stockpile program are also likely to affect the Army’s ability to implement the Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel Program. For example, efforts to dispose of nonstockpile materiel are likely to be driven by the need to obtain state and local approvals for destruction methods. In addition, more time is needed for the Army to prove that its proposed disposal method for the nonstockpile program will be safe and effective and accepted by the affected states and localities. Notwithstanding these issues, DOD and the Army have taken actions in response to congressional direction and our recommendations to improve program management. In December 1994, DOD designated the Army’s chemical demilitarization program, consisting of both stockpile and nonstockpile munitions and materiel, as a major defense acquisition program. The objectives of the designation were to stabilize the disposal schedules, control costs, and provide more discipline and higher levels of program oversight. In addition, Army officials have identified cost-reduction initiatives, which are in various stages of assessment, that could reduce program costs by $673 million. Recognizing the difficulty of satisfactorily resolving the public concerns associated with each individual disposal location, suggestions have been made by members of the Congress, DOD officials, and others to change the programs’ basic approach to destruction. However, the suggestions create trade-offs for decisionmakers and would require changes in existing legal requirements. These suggestions have included deferring plans for additional disposal facilities until an acceptable alternative technology to incineration is developed, consolidating disposal operations at a national site or regional sites, destroying selected nonstockpile chemical warfare materiel in stockpile disposal facilities, establishing a centralized disposal Page 2 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 facility for nonstockpile materiel, and modifying laws and regulations to standardize environmental requirements. In 1985, the Congress passed Public Law 99-145 directing the Army to Background destroy the U.S. stockpile of lethal chemical agents and munitions. The stockpile consists of rockets, bombs, projectiles, spray tanks, and bulk containers, which contain nerve and mustard agents. It is stored at eight sites in the continental United States and on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Appendix III identifies the locations of the chemical stockpile storage sites. To comply with congressional direction, the Army established the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program and developed a plan to incinerate the agents and munitions on site in specially designed facilities. In 1988, the Army established the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Project (CSEPP) to help communities near the chemical stockpile storage sites enhance existing emergency management and response capabilities in the unlikely event of a chemical stockpile accident. Recognizing that the stockpile program did not include all chemical warfare materiel requiring disposal, the Congress directed the Army in 1992 to plan for the disposal of materiel not included in the stockpile. This materiel, some of which dates back to World War I, consists of binary chemical weapons, miscellaneous chemical warfare materiel, recovered chemical weapons, former production facilities, and buried chemical warfare materiel.3 Appendix IV identifies the storage locations for the nonstockpile chemical warfare materiel. In 1992, the Army established the Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel Program to dispose of the materiel. Appendix V provides a chronology of the Army’s chemical disposal programs. Potential Impact of the In 1993, the United States signed the U.N.-sponsored Chemical Weapons Chemical Weapons Convention. In October 1996, the 65th nation ratified the convention Convention making the treaty effective on April 29, 1997.4 If the U.S. Senate approves 3 Binary weapons are formed from two nonlethal elements through a chemical reaction after the munitions are fired or launched. The weapons were manufactured, stored, and transported with only one of the chemical elements in the weapon. The second element was to be loaded into the weapon at the battlefield. 4 The convention becomes effective 180 days after the 65th nation ratified the treaty. Page 3 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 the convention, it could affect implementation of the disposal programs.5 Through ratification, the United States will agree to dispose of its (1) unitary chemical weapons stockpile, binary chemical weapons, recovered chemical weapons, and former chemical weapon production facilities by April 29, 2007, and (2) miscellaneous chemical warfare materiel by April 29, 2002. If a country is unable to maintain the convention’s disposal schedule, the convention’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons may grant a one-time extension of up to 5 years. Under the terms of the convention, chemical warfare materiel buried before 1977 is exempt from disposal as long as it remains buried. Should the United States choose to excavate the sites and remove the chemical materiel, the provisions of the convention would apply. The Senate has not approved the convention, however, the United States is committed by public law to destroying its chemical stockpile and related warfare materiel. Our Prior Reports Noted In prior reports, we expressed concern about the Army’s lack of progress Cost and Schedule Issues and the rising cost of the disposal programs. Appendix VI provides a listing of our products related to these programs. In 1991, we reported that continued problems in the program indicated that increased costs and additional time to destroy the chemical stockpile should be expected. We recommended that the Army determine whether faster and less costly technologies were available to destroy the stockpile.6 In a 1995 report on the nonstockpile program, we concluded that the Army’s plans for disposing of nonstockpile chemical warfare materiel were not final and, as a result, its cost estimate was likely to change.7 In July 1995, we testified before this subcommittee that the Army had experienced significant cost growth and delays in executing its stockpile disposal program and that further cost growth and schedule slippages could occur.8 In 1996, we reported that efforts to enhance emergency preparedness is Alabama had been hampered by management weaknesses in CSEPP.9 5 Under the U.S. Constitution, treaties must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. 6 Chemical Weapons: Stockpile Destruction Cost Growth and Schedule Slippages Are Likely to Continue (GAO/NSIAD-92-18, Nov. 20, 1991). 7 Chemical Weapons Disposal: Plans for Nonstockpile Chemical Warfare Materiel Can Be Improved (GAO/NSIAD-95-55, Dec. 20, 1994). 8 Chemical Weapons Disposal: Issues Related to DOD’s Management (GAO/T-NSIAD-95-185, July 13, 1995). 9 Chemical Weapons Stockpile: Emergency Preparedness in Alabama Is Hampered by Management Weaknesses (GAO/NSIAD-96-150, July 23, 1996). Page 4 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 The stockpile program will likely exceed its $12.4 billion estimate and take Stockpile Program’s longer than the legislative completion date of December 2004.10 This is Cost and Schedule because reaching agreement on site-specific disposal methods has Are Uncertain but Will consistently taken longer than the Army anticipated. Public concerns about the safety of incineration have (1) resulted in additional Exceed Current environmental requirements, (2) slowed the permitting of new Estimates incinerators, and (3) required the Army to research disposal alternatives. Approximately $1 billion of the estimated $12.4 billion is associated with CSEPP.The cost estimate for CSEPP has increased because of delays in the stockpile program and longstanding management weaknesses. These weaknesses have also slowed the program’s progress in enhancing emergency preparedness. Cost Growth and Schedule Since 1985, the Army’s cost estimate for the stockpile disposal program Slippages has increased seven-fold, from an initial estimate of $1.7 billion to $12.4 billion, and the planned completion date has been delayed from 1994 to 2004. Although the Army is committed to destroying the stockpile by the legislatively imposed deadline of December 31, 2004, it is unlikely to meet that date. Only two of the nine planned disposal facilities are built and operating, 4 percent of the stockpile has been destroyed, and environmental permitting issues at the individual sites continue to delay construction of the remaining facilities. For example, since the Army developed the most recent cost and schedule estimate in February 1996, the plant construction schedule has slipped by 6 months at the Anniston Army Depot, 9 months at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, 10 months at the Pueblo Depot Activity, and 4 months at the Umatilla Depot Activity. Reaching Agreement on Predicting the disposal schedule for the various sites is difficult. According Environmental Issues Has to Army officials, this is partly due to the uncertainty of the time required Been a Lengthy Process to satisfy changing environmental requirements. For example, although based on federal requirements, individual state environmental requirements differ and are occasionally changed. In most cases, these changes have added unanticipated requirements, resulting in the need for additional data collection, research, and reporting by the Army. In addition, according to the Army, the original scope of the health risk assessment to operate the disposal facilities was not completely defined, 10 Through fiscal year 1997, the Congress has appropriated $4 billion and the Army estimates that it will require $8.4 billion to complete the program. Page 5 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 the health assessment requirements have changed, and the requirements currently vary from state to state. According to DOD officials, states have modified the requirements of their health risk assessments well into the process, delaying the development of the final assessment document. Based on program experience, the Army’s 1996 schedule does not provide sufficient time for the Army to complete the environmental approval process.11 As a result, program delays past the mandated completion date of December 2004 are likely. For example, the schedule for the Anniston disposal facility includes a grace period of a month for any slippage in the construction, systemization, or operation to meet the legislative completion date of December 31, 2004. Although the Army estimated that the permit would have been issued by the end of September 1996, Alabama regulatory officials expect the permit to be issued in June or July 1997—a slippage of about 8 months in the schedule. This slippage will cause disposal operations at Anniston to extend to the middle of 2005. Considering Alternative In the 1993 National Defense Authorization Act, the Congress directed the Technologies Has Affected Army to report on potential technological alternatives to incineration. Disposal Cost and Consequently, in August 1994, the Army initiated a program to investigate, develop, and support testing of alternative disposal technologies for the Schedule two bulk-only stockpile sites—Aberdeen Proving Ground and Newport Chemical Activity. According to the National Research Council, the Army has successfully involved the state and the public in its alternative technology project for the two bulk-only stockpile sites, demonstrating the importance of public involvement to the progress of a program.12 The development of alternative disposal technologies for assembled chemical munitions provides the Army the mechanism for encouraging public involvement and establishing common objectives for the remaining disposal sites. In the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act, the Congress directed DOD to assess alternative technologies for the disposal of assembled chemical munitions. The act also directed the Secretary of Defense to report on the assessment by December 31, 1997. Similarly, the 1997 DOD Appropriations Act provided $40 million to conduct a pilot program to identify and demonstrate two or more alternatives to the baseline incineration process 11 Department of Defense’s Interim Status Assessment for the Chemical Demilitarization Program, DOD (Apr. 15, 1996). 12 Public Involvement and the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program, National Research Council (Oct. 25, 1996). Page 6 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 for the disposal of assembled chemical munitions. The act also prohibited DOD from obligating any funds for constructing disposal facilities at the Blue Grass Army Depot and Pueblo Depot Activity, until 180 days after the Secretary reports on the alternatives. Although the prohibition applies only to Blue Grass and Pueblo, public concerns about incineration may prompt state regulators at other locations to delay their final decisions to permit incinerators until the Secretary reports his findings. Management Weaknesses The Army’s and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) joint and Disagreements Have management of CSEPP has not been effective in controlling the growth in Slowed the Progress of program costs and achieving timely results. The Army’s current life-cycle cost estimate of $1.03 billion for the program has increased by 800 percent CSEPP over the initial estimate of $114 million in 1988. The primary reasons for the cost increase are the 10-year slippage in the completion of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program and financial management weaknesses. Program management weaknesses have also contributed to the increase and resulted in slow progress in enhancing emergency preparedness in the 10 states and local communities near the chemical stockpile storage sites. Nine years after CSEPP’s inception, states and local communities still lack critical items for responding to a chemical stockpile emergency, including alert and notification systems, decontamination units, and personal protection equipment. Although the Army has responded to this criticism and taken actions in response to congressional direction to improve program management, the completion of these actions has been delayed by disagreements between Army and FEMA officials. For example, the Army is still working to respond to direction in the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act to report on the implementation and success of CSEPP Integrated Process Teams.13 Because of this and other differences regarding their roles and responsibilities, Army and FEMA officials have not reached agreement on a long term management structure for CSEPP. 13 In the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 104-201), the Congress directed the Secretary of the Army to submit a report within 120 days of the act’s enactment that assessed the implementation and success of the site-specific Integrated Process Teams. Page 7 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Through fiscal year 1997 the Congress has appropriated $221 million for Nonstockpile the nonstockpile program. The Army estimates that it will require an Program’s Cost and additional $15 billion and nearly 40 years to complete the program. Schedule Are Also However, given the factors driving the program, it is uncertain how long the program will take or cost. The program is driven by the uncertainties Uncertain surrounding buried chemical warfare materiel and unproven disposal methods. Buried Materiel Will Drive The Army estimates that it can dispose of binary weapons, recovered Cost but Little Is Known chemical weapons, former production facilities, and miscellaneous About Them chemical warfare materiel within the time frames established by the Chemical Weapons Convention. Under the terms of the convention, chemical warfare materiel buried before 1977 is exempt from disposal as long as it remains buried. Although the Army estimates that buried chemical materiel accounts for $14.5 billion (95 percent) of the nonstockpile program cost, the Army is still exploring potential sites and has little and often imprecise information about the type and amount of materiel buried. Appendix VII identifies the potential locations with buried chemical warfare materiel. The Army estimated that it will take until 2033 to identify, recover, and dispose of buried nonstockpile materiel. Although Army officials are confident that the proposed disposal systems Proposed Disposal will function as planned, the Army needs more time to prove that the Systems Are Not Yet systems will safely and effectively destroy all nonstockpile materiel and be Proven Effective and accepted by the affected states and communities. The Army’s disposal concept is based on developing mobile systems capable of moving from Acceptable by the one location to the next where the munitions are remotely detoxified and Public the waste is transported to a commercial hazardous waste facility. Although the systems may operate in a semi-fixed mode, they are scheduled to be available for mobile use at recovered and burial sites after 1998. Environmental issues similar to those experienced in the stockpile Environmental Issues program are also likely to affect the Army’s ability to obtain the Will Also Affect Cost environmental approvals and permits that virtually all nonstockpile and Schedule activities require. Whether the systems are allowed to operate at a particular location will depend on the state regulatory agency with authority over the disposal operations. In addition, public acceptance or Page 8 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 rejection of the mobile systems will affect their transportation plans and disposal operations. DOD and the Army have taken a number of steps to respond to Actions the Army Has congressional direction and independent reviews and improve their Taken to Improve the management and oversight of the stockpile and nonstockpile programs. Disposal Programs These steps have included efforts to improve coordination with the public through an enhanced public outreach program, increase public involvement in the alternative technology program for the two bulk-only stockpile sites, and establish a joint CSEPP Army/FEMA team to coordinate and implement emergency preparedness activities. In December 1994, DOD designated the Army’s chemical demilitarization program, consisting of both stockpile and nonstockpile munitions and materiel, as a major defense acquisition program. The objectives of the designation were to stabilize the disposal schedules, control costs, and provide more discipline and higher levels of program oversight.14 In response to our recommendations and similar ones by the National Research Council, the Army initiated the Enhanced Stockpile Surveillance Program in 1995 to improve its monitoring and inspection of chemical munitions. On the basis of those activities, the Army estimates that the stockpile will be reasonably stable through 2013. The Army’s review of the stockpile disposal program has identified several promising cost-reduction initiatives, but the Army cannot implement some of the more significant initiatives without the cooperation and approval of state regulatory agencies. Army officials estimated that the initial cost-reduction initiatives, which are in various stages of assessment, could potentially reduce program costs by $673 million. The Army plans to identify additional cost-reductions as the stockpile program progresses. Recognizing the difficulty of resolving the public concerns associated with Alternatives to the each individual disposal location, suggestions have been made to change Army’s Basic the programs’ basic approach to destruction. For example, members of the Approach to Congress and officials from environmental groups and affected states and counties have suggested deferring plans for additional disposal facilities Destruction until an acceptable alternative technology to incineration is developed. 14 The designation transferred management responsibility to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition) and required the program manager to develop a cost and schedule baseline and prepare quarterly and annual reports on variances from the baseline. Page 9 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Congressional members have also suggested consolidating disposal operations at a national or regional sites. In addition, officials of various DOD organizations have suggested destroying selected nonstockpile chemical warfare materiel in stockpile disposal facilities, establishing a centralized disposal facility for nonstockpile materiel, and modifying laws and regulations to standardize environmental requirements. Deferring Incineration Deferring disposal operations may eliminate much of the public concern Until an Acceptable that has influenced the current approach to destroying the chemical Alternative Is Developed stockpile. According to Army officials, alternative technologies may not reduce costs or shorten disposal operations but are likely to be acceptable to a larger segment of the public than incineration. Given the current status of alternative technologies, the cost and schedule would remain uncertain and there would be a corresponding increase in the risk of an accident from continued storage of the munitions. Although the Army has been researching technological alternatives to incineration for chemical agents stored in bulk containers, only recently have research and testing demonstrated potentially effective alternatives. Currently, there is no proven alternative technology to incineration capable of safely and effectively destroying assembled chemical munitions. Consolidating Disposal Consolidating disposal operations could reduce construction and Operations at a National procurement costs, but the required transportation of chemical munitions Site or Regional Sites could be an insurmountable barrier. This option would extend the disposal schedule and result in increased risk not only from storage but also from handling and transportation. Although consolidating disposal operations could reduce estimated facility construction and operation costs by as much as $2.6 billion, the savings would be reduced by uncertain but potentially significant transportation and emergency preparedness costs. To help reduce costs, the Army would have to consolidate three or more stockpile sites, develop less expensive transportation containers, and control emergency response costs. In 1988, the Army and many in the Congress rejected transporting the chemical stockpile weapons to a national site or regional disposal sites because of the increased risk to the public and the environment from moving the munitions. DOD and Army officials continue to be concerned about the safety of moving chemical weapons and public opposition to transportation of the munitions has grown since 1988. Page 10 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Destroying Selected Using the chemical stockpile facilities to destroy nonstockpile chemical Nonstockpile Materiel in materiel has the potential for reducing costs. Although selected Stockpile Facilities nonstockpile items could be destroyed in stockpile disposal facilities, the 1986 DOD Authorization Act, and subsequent legislation, specifies that the chemical stockpile disposal facilities may not be used for any purpose other than the disposal of stockpile weapons. This legislative provision, in some cases, necessitates that the Army implement separate disposal operations for nonstockpile materiel along side of the stockpile facilities. In its 1995 implementation plan, the Army suggested that the stockpile disposal facilities could be used to process some nonstockpile weapons, depending on the location, the type of chemical weapon or materiel, and condition.15 Destroying Nonstockpile Another method for destroying nonstockpile chemical materiel could be Materiel in a Central based on the use of a central disposal facility with equipment designed Facility specifically for destroying nonstockpile materiel. Although a national disposal facility could reduce program costs, the legislative restrictions on the transportation of nonstockpile chemical material and the prevalent public attitude that such a disposal facility should not be located in their vicinity would be significant obstacles that would have to be resolved. Modifying Laws and Modifying laws and regulations to standardize environmental requirements Regulations could enhance both the stockpile and nonstockpile programs’ stability and control costs. The current process of individual states establishing their own environmental laws and requirements and the prevalent public attitude that the Army’s disposal facilities should not be located in their vicinity have been obstacles to the stockpile disposal program and are also likely to affect the nonstockpile program. For example, individual state environmental requirements differ, such as the number of required trail burns, and are occasionally changed. As a result, there are no standard environmental procedures and requirements for stockpile and nonstockpile disposal sites. According to the Army, establishing standardized environmental requirements for all disposal sites would enhance the programs’ stability. However, efforts to modify existing laws and regulations to standardize the environmental requirements for chemical weapons disposal would likely be resisted by the affected states and localities and environmental organizations. 15 Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Program Implementation Plan, U.S. Army Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (Aug. 1995). Page 11 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 In summary, implementation of the disposal programs has been slowed Conclusions due to the lack of consensus among DOD and the affected states and localities over the process to dispose of chemical munitions and materiel. Recognizing the difficulty of satisfactorily resolving the public concerns with the disposal of chemical munitions, suggestions have been made by members of the Congress, DOD officials, and others to change the Army’s basic approach to destruction. However, these suggestions create trade-offs for decisionmakers and would require changes in legal requirements. While our February report presented these suggestions, we did not take a position on them or the Army’s current approach given the associated policy and legislative implications. Rather, our report presented the suggestions in context of the trade-offs they present and noted that should the Congress decide to consider modifications or alternatives to the current approach, it may wish to consider the suggestions related to the creation of alternative technologies, consolidation of stockpile disposal operations, utilization of stockpile facilities for nonstockpile items, centralization of nonstockpile destruction, and standardization of environmental laws and requirements. In commenting on these suggestions, DOD said that it favored the Congress considering the ones to establish a centralized disposal facility for nonstockpile materiel and to modify laws and regulations to standardize environmental requirements for chemical weapons disposal. DOD recommended against consideration of the options to defer incineration plans, consolidate disposal operations, and to use stockpile facilities for destroying nonstockpile items. In addition, we believe that high-level management attention is needed to reach agreement on a long-term management structure for CSEPP that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of Army and FEMA personnel. This concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman. I would be pleased to answer any questions that you or other members of the Subcommittee may have. Page 12 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Page 13 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix I Appropriation, Obligation, and Disbursement Data for Fiscal Years 1988 Through 1997 The following tables show appropriation, obligation, and disbursement data for the disposal programs. Funding data for the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program, Alternative Technology and Approaches Project, and Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Project are shown in tables I.1, I.2, and I.3, respectively. Funding data for the Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel Program are shown in table I.4. Table I.1: Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program Dollars in millions Fiscal year Appropriated Obligated Disbursed 1988 $195.8 $194.3 $192.9 1989 168.0 165.5 165.4 1990 210.4 208.2 205.9 1991 255.0 252.3 251.5 1992 331.3 330.1 326.8 1993 419.1 417.9 316.0 1994 249.1 246.7 234.9 1995 486.5 472.2 279.2 1996 484.2 346.0 130.5 1997 534.7 Total $3,334.1 $2,633.2 $2,103.1 Table I.2: Alternative Technology and Approaches Project Dollars in millions Fiscal year Appropriated Obligated Disbursed 1994 $22.4 $22.2 $10.2 1995 9.4 9.4 6.8 1996 22.2 19.6 12.2 1997 56.0 Total $110.0 $51.2 $29.2 Page 14 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix I Appropriation, Obligation, and Disbursement Data for Fiscal Years 1988 Through 1997 Table I.3: Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Project Dollars in millions Fiscal year Appropriated Obligated Disbursed 1988 $2.5 $2.5 $2.5 1989 11.3 11.3 11.1 1990 43.8 43.7 43.3 1991 37.7 37.6 37.5 1992 40.9 40.5 40.0 1993 88.2 87.5 62.1 1994 71.9 71.6 65.5 1995 56.5 56.4 27.6 1996 80.0 65.2 27.3 1997 82.4 Total $515.2 $416.3 $316.9 Table I.4: Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel Program Dollars in millions Fiscal year Appropriated Obligated Disbursed 1992 $2.2 $2.2 $2.2 1993 6.3 6.3 6.0 1994 31.5 31.2 26.4 1995 26.0 25.8 18.5 1996 69.7 40.4 14.6 1997 85.3 Total $221.0 $105.9 $67.7 Source: The Army’s Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization. Page 15 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix II Estimated Program Cost for Fiscal Years 1998 Through 2005 Dollars in millions Chemical Chemical Alternative Stockpile Nonstockpile Stockpile Technology and Emergency Chemical Disposal Approaches Preparedness Materiel Fiscal year Program Project Project Program 1998 $946.8 $16.0 $94.4 $71.7 1999 960.9 30.5 66.6 174.1 2000 842.2 19.0 74.0 112.2 2001 700.2 15.0 71.3 154.4 2002 1,644.8 88.3 69.5 166.5 2003 866.2 66.2 101.7 2004 938.9 60.8 101.8 2005 235.8 55.2 a Total $7,135.8 $168.8 $502.8 $937.6 Note: Then-year dollars. a Totals do not add to the Army’s estimated funding to complete the programs because (1) the estimates were developed at different times and based on different assumptions and (2) the table does not reflect total costs for the nonstockpile program, which is estimated to continue through 2033. Source: DOD’s Selected Acquisition Report (June 30, 1996). Page 16 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix III The U.S. Stockpile of Chemical Agents and Munitions Umatilla Depot Activity, Oregon Number of items: 220,599 Tons of agent: 3,717 Newport Chemical Activity, Indiana Number of items: 1,690 Tons of agent: 1,269 Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Number of items: 1,818 Tons of agent: 1,625 Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky Tooele Army Depot, Utah Number of items: 101,764 Tons of agent: 523 Number of items: 1,138,488 Tons of agent: 13,616 Anniston Army Depot, Pueblo Depot Activity, Alabama Colorado Number of items: 661,529 Number of items: 780,078 Tons of agent: 2,254 Tons of agent: 2,611 Hawaii Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas Number of items: 123,093 Tons of agent: 3,850 Johnston Atoll, Pacific Ocean Number of items: 292,121 Tons of agent: 1,134 Note: As of December 15, 1995. Source: DOD. Page 17 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix IV Storage Locations of Nonstockpile Chemical Warfare Materiel Fort Richardson, Alaska Recovered chemical weapons Dugway Proving Ground, Rock Mountain Arsenal, Umatilla Depot Activity, Utah Colorado Oregon Recovered chemical weapons Former production facility Binary chemical weapons Miscellaneous chemical materiel Recovered chemical weapons Miscellaneous chemical materiel Newport Chemical Activity, Indiana Former production facilities Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Binary chemical weapons Former production facilities Miscellaneous chemical materiel Recovered chemical weapons Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky Tooele Army Depot, Miscellaneous chemical materiel Utah Binary chemical weapons Redstone Arsenal, Miscellaneous chemical materiel Alabama Recovered chemical weapons Recovered chemical weapons Anniston Army Depot, Alabama Pueblo Depot Activity, Miscellaneous chemical materiel Colorado Miscellaneous chemical materiel Hawaii Pine Bluff Arsenal, Recovered chemical weapons Camp Bullis, Arkansas Texas Binary chemical weapons Recovered chemical weapons Former production facilities Miscellaneous chemical materiel Johnston Atoll, Recovered chemical weapons Pacific Ocean Recovered chemical weapons Source: Based on 1996 data provided by the Army’s Project Manager for Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel. Page 18 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix V Chronology of the U.S. Chemical Demilitarization Program Time frame Activity 1917-1960s Obsolete or unserviceable chemical warfare agents and munitions were disposed of by open pit burning, land burial, and ocean dumping. 1969 The National Academy of Sciences recommended that ocean dumping be avoided and that public health and environmental protection be emphasized. It suggested two alternatives to ocean disposal: chemical neutralization of nerve agents and incineration of mustard agents. 1970 The Armed Forces Authorization Act (P.L. 91-441) required a Department of Health and Human Services review of any disposal plans and detoxification of weapons prior to disposal. It also limited the movement of chemical weapons. 1971 The Foreign Military Sales Act prohibited the transportation of U.S. chemical weapons from Okinawa, Japan, to the continental United States. The weapons were moved to Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. 1971-1973 The Army tested and developed an incineration process and disposed of several thousand tons of mustard agent stored in ton containers at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. 1973-1976 The Army disposed of nearly 4,200 tons of nerve agent by chemical neutralization at Tooele Army Depot and Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The process was problematic and not very reproducible, making automation difficult. 1979 The Army opened the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System at Tooele to test and evaluate disposal equipment and processes for chemical agents and munitions on a pilot scale. 1981 The Army decided to build the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System to dispose of its chemical M55 rocket stockpile. 1981-1986 The Army used the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System to test and evaluate incineration of chemical agents and energetic materiel, and decontamination of metal parts and ton containers. 1982 An Arthur D. Little Corporation study for the Army concluded that using incineration, rather than neutralization, to dispose of the stockpile would reduce costs. 1982 The Army declared its stockpile of M55 rockets obsolete. 1983 The Army expanded its chemical disposal program to include the M55 rocket stockpile at Anniston Army Depot, Umatilla Depot Activity, and Blue Grass Army Depot. 1984 The Army expanded its chemical disposal program to include the M55 rocket stockpile at Pine Bluff Arsenal and Tooele Army Depot. 1984 The National Research Council endorsed the Army’s disassembly and high-temperature incineration process for disposing of chemical agents and munitions. It also recommended that the Army continue to store most of the chemical stockpile, dispose of the M55 rockets, and analyze alternative methods for disposing of the remaining chemical stockpile. 1985 The Army began construction of the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System. 1985 The DOD Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1986 (P.L. 99-145) mandated the destruction of the U.S. stockpile of lethal chemical agents and munitions. It also required that the disposal facilities be cleaned, dismantled, and disposed of according to applicable laws and regulations. 1986 The DOD Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1987 (P.L. 99-500) prohibited shipments of chemical weapons, components, or agents to the Blue Grass Depot Activity for any purpose. 1987 Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System operations were suspended as a result of a low-level nerve agent release. 1988 The Army issued the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. The Army selected on-site disposal of the chemical stockpile because it posed fewer potential risks than transportation and off-site disposal. (continued) Page 19 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix V Chronology of the U.S. Chemical Demilitarization Program Time frame Activity 1988 The National Defense Act of Fiscal Year 1989 (P.L. 100-456) required the Army to complete operational verification testing at Johnston Atoll before beginning to systematize similar disposal facilities in the continental United States. 1989 The Army started construction of the chemical demilitarization facility at Tooele Army Depot. 1990 The Army completed the successful retrograde of all chemical munitions stored in Germany to storage facilities at Johnston Atoll. 1990 The Army initiated disposal of M55 rockets at Johnston Atoll. 1990 A very small amount of nerve agent leaked through the common stack during maintenance activities at Johnston Atoll. The agent release was below allowable stack concentration. 1990-1993 The Army completed four operational verification tests at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System. During the test, the Army destroyed more than 40,000 munitions containing nerve and mustard agents. In August 1993, the Secretary of Defense certified to the Congress that the Army has successfully completed the operational verification tests at Johnston Atoll. 1991 The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 (P.L. 101-510) restricted the use of funds to transport chemical weapons to Johnston Atoll except for U.S. munitions discovered in the Pacific, prohibited the Army from studying the movement of chemical munitions, and established the emergency preparedness program. 1991 The Army moved 109 World War II mustard-filled projectiles from the Solomon Islands to Johnston Atoll for storage and disposal. 1991 The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (P.L. 102-190) required the Secretary of Defense to develop a chemical weapons stockpile safety contingency plan. 1992 The U.S. Army Chemical Materiel Destruction Agency was established to consolidate operational responsibility for the destruction of chemical warfare capabilities into one office. 1992 The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 (P.L. 102-484) directed the Army to establish citizens’ commissions for states with storage sites, if the state’s governor requested one. It also required the Army to report on (1) disposal alternatives to the baseline incineration method and (2) plans for destroying U.S. nonstockpile chemical weapons and materiel identified in the Chemical Weapons Convention. 1993 The Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System was shut down during operation and verification tests when residue explosive material generated during the processing of M60 105mm projectiles caught fire, causing damage to a conveyor belt and other equipment in the explosive containment room. 1993 The Army completed construction and started systemization of the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. 1993 The Army issued its report on the physical and chemical integrity of the chemical stockpile to the Congress. 1993 A mustard leak from a ton container was discovered at Tooele Army Depot. 1993 The Army issued an interim survey and analysis report on the Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel Program to the Congress. 1994 Approximately 11.6 milligrams of nerve agent were released into the atmosphere at the Johnston Atoll during a maintenance activity on the liquid incinerator. 1994 The National Research Council issued its recommendations for the disposal of chemical agents and munitions to the Army. 1994 The Army issued its alternative demilitarization technology report to the Congress. The Army recommended the continuation of the chemical demilitarization program without deliberate delay and the implementation of a two-technology research and development program. (continued) Page 20 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix V Chronology of the U.S. Chemical Demilitarization Program Time frame Activity 1994 The Army issued it M55 rocket stability report to the Congress. The report recommended that an enhanced stockpile assessment program be initiated to better characterize the state of the M55 rocket in the stockpile. 1994 The Army initiated the Alternative Technology Project to develop an alternative disposal technology to the baseline incineration process for the bulk-only stockpile locations in Maryland and Indiana. This research and development effort is conducted in conjunction with activities to implement the baseline program. 1994 The U.S. Army Chemical Materiel Destruction Agency was redesignated the U.S. Army Chemical Demilitarization and Remediation Activity after a merger with the U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command. In addition, the Army restructured and centralized its chemical stockpile emergency preparedness program to streamline procedures, enhance responsiveness of operations, and improve the budgeting process. 1994 The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition became the DOD Executive Agent for the Chemical Demilitarization Program, replacing the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Logistics, and Environment. The Chemical Demilitarization Program was designated a DOD Acquisition Category 1D Program. 1995 The Army initiated the Enhanced Stockpile Surveillance Program to investigate, develop, and support methods to improve monitoring and inspection of chemical munitions. 1995 The U.S. Army Chemical Demilitarization and Remediation Activity was renamed the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization. 1995 The Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System surpassed the 1-million pounds target and completed the disposal of all M55 rockets stored on Johnston Atoll. Disposal rates exceeded established goals. 1995 A perimeter monitor located about 100 yards from the demilitarization building at Johnston Atoll detected a trace level of nerve agent. The source of the leak was identified as a door gasket in the air filtration system. Temporary air locks were erected and the gasket replaced. No one was harmed from this event. 1995 The Army awarded the contract for small burial sites and issued its implementation plan for the nonstockpile program. 1995 The Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility completed equipment systemization testing. 1995 The Army certified to the Congress that all Browder Amendment requirements for the award of the Anniston construction contract were met. 1996 The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (P.L. 104-106) directed DOD to conduct an assessment of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program and options that could be taken to reduce program costs. 1996 The Army completed disposal of all Air Force and Navy bombs stored on Johnston Atoll ahead of schedule. 1996 The Army awarded the systems contract for the construction, operation, and closure of the proposed Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin after the state of Alabama issues the environmental permits. 1996 The Army started disposal operations at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. Shortly after the start, operations were shut down for a week after a small amount of agent was detected in a sealed vestibule attached to the air filtration system. No agent was released to the environment and no one was harmed. 1996 Several hair line cracks were discovered in the concrete floor of the Tooele disposal facility’s decontamination area. The cracks caused a small amount of decontamination solution to leak to a electrical room below. No agent was detected and the cracks were sealed. (continued) Page 21 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix V Chronology of the U.S. Chemical Demilitarization Program Time frame Activity 1996 The 1997 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 104-201) directed DOD to conduct an assessment of alternative technologies for the disposal of assembled chemical munitions. The act also directed the Secretary of Defense to report on this assessment by December 31, 1997. 1996 The 1997 DOD Appropriations Act (P.L. 104-208) provided the Army $40 million to conduct a pilot program to identify and demonstrate two or more alternatives to the baseline incineration process for the disposal of assembled chemical munitions. The act also prohibited DOD from obligating any funds for constructing disposal facilities at Blue Grass and Pueblo until 180 days after the Secretary reports on the alternatives. 1996 The Chemical Weapons Convention was ratified by the 65th country needed to make the convention effective. As a result, the convention will go into effect April 29, 1997. Through ratification, the United States will agree to dispose of its (1) unitary chemical weapons stockpile, binary chemical weapons, recovered chemical weapons, and former chemical weapon production facilities by April 29, 2007, and (2) miscellaneous chemical warfare materiel by April 29, 2002. Page 22 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix VI Related GAO Products Chemical Weapons and Materiel: Key Factors Affecting Disposal Costs and Schedule (GAO/NSIAD-97-18, Feb. 10, 1997). Chemical Weapons Stockpile: Emergency Preparedness in Alabama Is Hampered by Management Weaknesses (GAO/NSIAD-96-150, July 23, 1996). Chemical Weapons Disposal: Issues Related to DOD’s Management (GAO/T-NSIAD-95-185, July 13, 1995). Chemical Weapons: Army’s Emergency Preparedness Program Has Financial Management Weaknesses (GAO/NSIAD-95-94, Mar. 15, 1995). Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program Review (GAO/NSIAD-95-66R, Jan. 12, 1995). Chemical Weapons: Stability of the U.S. Stockpile (GAO/NSIAD-95-67, Dec. 22, 1994). Chemical Weapons Disposal: Plans for Nonstockpile Chemical Warfare Materiel Can Be Improved (GAO/NSIAD-95-55, Dec. 20, 1994). Chemical Weapons: Issues Involving Destruction Technologies (GAO/T-NSIAD-94-159, Apr. 26, 1994). Chemical Weapons Destruction: Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternatives to Incineration (GAO/NSIAD-94-123, Mar. 18, 1994). Arms Control: Status of U.S.-Russian Agreements and the Chemical Weapons Convention (GAO/NSIAD-94-136, Mar. 15, 1994). Chemical Weapon Stockpile: Army’s Emergency Preparedness Program Has Been Slow to Achieve Results (GAO/NSIAD-94-91, Feb. 22, 1994). Chemical Weapons Storage: Communities Are Not Prepared to Respond to Emergencies (GAO/T-NSIAD-93-18, July 16, 1993). Chemical Weapons Destruction: Issues Affecting Program Cost, Schedule, and Performance (GAO/NSIAD-93-50, Jan. 21, 1993). Chemical Weapons Destruction: Issues Related to Environmental Permitting and Testing Experience (GAO/T-NSIAD-92-43, June 16, 1992). Chemical Weapons Disposal (GAO/NSIAD-92-219R, May 14, 1992). Page 23 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix VI Related GAO Products Chemical Weapons: Stockpile Destruction Cost Growth and Schedule Slippages Are Likely to Continue (GAO/NSIAD-92-18, Nov. 20, 1991). Chemical Warfare: DOD’s Effort to Remove U.S. Chemical Weapons From Germany (GAO/NSIAD-91-105, Feb. 13, 1991). Page 24 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Appendix VII Potential Locations With Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel Virgin Islands -six potential locations. Locations with potential buried chemical warfare materiel that may require remediation. Source: Based on 1996 data provided by the Army’s Project Manager for Nonstockpile Chemical Materiel. (709248) Page 25 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-118 Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. 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Chemical Weapons and Materiel: Key Factors Affecting Disposal Costs and Schedule
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-03-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)